Pardew blasts United's tactics

AIDY Boothroyd defended the club's ball boy system after Southampton boss Alan Pardew blasted the U's 'poor gamesmanship'.

Stuart Watson

IN FACTFILE

AIDY Boothroyd defended the club's ball boy system after Southampton boss Alan Pardew blasted the U's 'poor gamesmanship', writes Stuart Watson.

After Colchester won 2-1 to inflict a damaging blow to the Saints play-off ambitions, Pardew declared his disappointment at the lack of ball boys at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

“I am disappointed in lots of ways,” said Pardew. “I'm really upset at some of the antics and the poor gamesmanship around the ground - I thought the referee should have dealt with that.

“There were hardly any ball boys around the pitch and they weren't giving the ball back. At one point our keeper had to run 40 yards to get the ball as the ball boy just sat in the corner.

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“I know Aidy Boothroyd likes to push the boundaries here and he got away with it today.”

U's boss Boothroyd - whose side have now won four successive league games and are back level on points with third-place Norwich - defended the club's system though.

He said: “We don't play the multi-ball system, but that was decided long before I came here.

“When we go away from home I don't complain about other team's ball boys or players going down to waste time, I just take it on the chin and get on with it. We are on a limited budget here so we can't have lots of ball boys.

“I know Alan well and there will be no problem between us. He's a winner and I know that winners are generally bad losers.”

Boothroyd added: “I'm thrilled with the result because I think they are a side that can still make the play-offs. We surprised them a little bit by playing the two nippy fellas up front (Kevin Lisbie and Steven Gillespie) and we took the two goals really well.”

A sudden bout of thick fog made for a farcical last 10 minutes of the game as many areas of the pitch became virtually invisible to the spectators.

"You couldn't see the ball in the corners, but it was OK when the ball was in play," said Pardew, while Boothroyd added: "You have to play in all sorts of weather, we've played in wind, monsoon rain and now thick fog - you just have to get on with it."

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